Opinion: Media turned Florida shooting into politics

Posted on Feb 28 2018 - 8:00am by Tyler Jordon

On Feb. 14, the nation was, yet again, witness to another school shooting. Nineteen-year-old Nikolas Cruz walked into the school he had been expelled from, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, and murdered 17 former classmates with an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle.

As usual, the media used a school shooting to advance their agendas from attacking President Donald Trump to advocating for looser or stricter gun control.

Let’s take, for example, how a left-wing media organization, like The Washington Post, has used this tragedy to advance its agendas.

It went to great lengths, including using a survivor’s interview with other news stations, to advance its anti-Trump agenda. For example, one school-shooting survivor, in reference to President Trump, said, “You sicken me.”

In order to push for gun control, The Washington Post furthered this with a quote from a survivor’s speech that was relaying a teacher’s comment: “When adults tell me I have the right to own a gun, all I can hear is my right to own a gun outweighs your student’s right to live.”

Fox News, a right-wing news organization, had no problem pushing against gun control measures just days after the shooting. When pressed on the issue, Fox News contributor Keith Ablow, a psychiatrist, said, “Please don’t get distracted by thinking this is a gun issue. It isn’t. All you’ll have is a creative killer if you disarm the killer. They’ll use something else.”

The media didn’t stop there. When several survivors from the school shooting took buses to Tallahassee, Florida, to advocate for the state Legislature to ban assault weapons in the state of Florida, the media had no problem inviting themselves aboard the buses to interview students.

You may wonder how this was troubling. But think about it – the time on the bus was for the students to collectively grieve and to prepare for what most definitely was an immense form of closure to the victims if the legislation was passed.

The insensitive media, as always, disregarded the victim’s privacy, just so that they could get a story. Pathetic.

Above all, what is most disgusting is how instead of creating unity among the victims, the media divided them. When Fox News interviewed a survivor about gun control, he said he believes many of his classmates are uninformed about guns and are just going along with the perceived popular opinion.

It is absolutely fine for this student to believe his classmates are uninformed, but it is completely unprofessional of Fox News to publish that statement.

Do you think that, in a time of post-tragedy, when emotions are high, his classmates will not have an issue with his public ridicule of their beliefs?

After a tragedy, the media should only report the facts of the story and recognize the heroes who sacrificed their lives so others could live.

For example, a few media sources have talked about Peter Wang’s heroic actions. Wang was a 15-year-old JROTC student who died helping his classmates escape. For his heroism, Peter was posthumously awarded an appointment to West Point, an academy he dreamed of attending.

His story should be all over headline news, but it’s not. Instead, the media have diverted their attention and resources to advancing their agendas, which has divided not only the survivors but also the rest of the country.

The media outlets are at the point of no return of being worthy of the American public’s respect.

Tyler Jordon is a senior political science major from Charleston, West Virginia.